Only Corbyn can Save Britain from a No Deal Brexit

In setting out Labour’s terms for backing Theresa May on Brexit, Jeremy Corbyn has done more to deliver Brexit than Theresa May has done for a whole two years in power. In a move Donald Tusk described as offering a “promising way out” of the current Brexit impasse, Corbyn has shown himself to be the only politician capable of saving Britain from crashing out of the EU without a deal.

Only Corbyn has shown the level of pragmatism and statesmanship necessary to deliver a Brexit which has the potential to get through Parliament. Unlike May, it is Corbyn who has recognised how Brexit requires compromise and cooperation between the country’s two biggest parties.

If Brexit has proved anything, it is that our country is divided. With little over a month left before we leave the EU with or without a deal, it is time for our politicians to come together for the sake of the country.

One clear quality which Corbyn possesses, and May severely lacks, is the ability to lead his party at a time of crisis. Having survived numerous leadership challenges and protests over the direction he was leading the party, Corbyn has proved much more resilient than many would have imagined when he came to power in 2015. He has secured support around his message of hope and managed to win over many skeptical voters.

Throughout the Brexit process, the People’s Vote brigade have been a constant thorn in his side. Despite this, Corbyn has stuck to his guns, signalling his intent to secure a workable Brexit for the country and deliver on the promises he made in the General Election campaign of 2017.

May, on the other hand, continues to believe in her make-believe fantasy that she can secure a deal that satisfies both the extreme and moderate wings of her party. In doing so, May is prepared to plunge the country into an unprecedented crisis to save her skin. She is surviving, but by no means thriving and she is taking the country down with her.

Like a child who has left all her homework from the week until Sunday evening, Theresa May’s insistence on renegotiating an un-negotiable deal instead of seeking to form any kind of cross party consensus is sure to result in the UK being cast into the infinite detention that is a No-Deal Brexit.

Brexit is a national emergency and one which requires compromise.

Corbyn has done his part, it is now time for May to decide where her loyalties really lie: with the MPs who are anxious over the prospect of us crashing out of the EU without a deal, or the ERG who continue to believe their own lies over the prospect of Britain securing a better deal.

Having rejected Corbyn’s five demands this morning, May is playing a dangerous game. However, Tory MPs have the power to take this decision out of May’s hands by rallying behind Corbyn’s proposal to deliver a manageable Brexit. 

Corbyn’s proposal offers May the chance to win over moderate Tory MPs and simultaneously meet Labour’s six key tests. There is no time for a second referendum, nor would it have any chance of getting through parliament. The failure of the Cooper amendment shows there is no support for extending Article 50 either.

It really is now or never.

By the 29th of March, if Britain crashes out of the EU without a deal, we will look back at Corbyn’s proposal as a key turning point; the one chance we had to rescue Britain from this mess. It is the duty of MPs from across the House to unite behind Corbyn’s pragmatic proposal to deliver Brexit and sort this mess out once and for all so we can all focus our efforts on addressing the inequalities which fuelled the Brexit vote in the first place.

It’s Time We Listened To Jeremy Corbyn

According to most reports, it is foolish. A rebellious opposition leader, Jeremy Corbyn, demands the House to let MPs vote on holding a second referendum and place power over Brexit away from the government, to appease vast dissatisfaction with May’s flawed, faltering Brexit Bill.

Could the opposition’s alignment with a “People’s Vote” work in practice? It is idealistic. But between a government agenda of isolationism and democratic cooperation to find a better answer, it is decidedly more true to the ideals of the “Westminster System” that the government is accountable to the people, instead of the opposite. In practice, for some time the distinction has been reversed and power has become a check and balance on the public, not the other way round. Because this dynamic may well have fueled dissatisfaction with politics that unarguably stoked support for Brexit to start with, perhaps the collapse of May’s deal, the end of Government conniving behind our backs, is the best possible outcome.

For months and years, I have been frankly baffled by Brexit despite having a politics degree, where I was taught how to make sense of complex geopolitical dynamics through procedures of reason and theory. Brexit is hard, and anyone who claims to understand it entirely talks big. Recently, the way I’ve asked what Brexit means is through holding what the government has done, is doing, will do, through the prism of democratic theory ‘s normative ideals, the “what ought” facts. Precisely because Leave invoked classic democratic values like self-determination and Democracy to justify its superiority, it surely is consistent with their principles to make sure there is due scrutiny Brexit really does satisfy the power in our hands’ agenda.

To my mind, the problem is not with Corbyn’s ideals, his vision for policy, but the practical matter of winning enough votes to control the trajectory of the House. Whether or not Labour members will provide this mandate, support their leader without hesitation to bring down the Tories, depends on to what extent they buy the media narrative on his ineptitude. He’d have to pierce through a powerful illusion of his being a politician with ideas beyond reason and aim for an informed public choice in favour of more Brexit scrutiny that would defy our political pathology of rash, biased decisions.

Should Corbyn convince the party of the need to present a united front that can persuade people it is staying true to the values that ostensibly inspired people to vote Leave, then his plan is flawless. The Progress backed PLP may not be at one with it. I do not recognise any procedural democracy in how this corporate lobby subverts the innate democratic socialism in Labour. Labour, as the people’s party, should never have been subject to corporate lobbying. But if I were a voter, I’d pause to reflect how Corbyn is returning soul and substance to a party sold out to the terms and conditions of neoliberalism, by Tony Blair.

Homeless People Need Help, Not Punishment: Labour Party To Repeal Law Criminalising Rough Sleepers

 

Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn and Shadow Housing Minister Melanie Onn have announced that the next Labour government will repeal the Vagrancy Act 1824. The Vagrancy Act 1824 is an Act of Parliament which makes it an offence to sleep rough or beg. Anyone who is found to be sleeping rough or begging in public can be arrested.

Labour will say that the priority should be to support the less fortunate and to not criminalise them. The legislation creates further austerity and has a very hostile approach when it comes to dealing with homelessness in this country. Reports have stated that those convicted under the Vagrancy Act can be fined up to £1, 000 and can leave those convicted under the act with a two-year criminal record.

Labour has committed to ending rough sleeping with a plan to reserve 8,000 homes for people with a history of rough sleeping.

Jeremy Corbyn MP said:

The next Labour government will make ending homelessness a priority. We want to build a society which doesn’t walk by on the other side when we see someone in need.

 

Final Comment from Editor- Heidi Boahen

According to homeless link’s latest publication of research in January 2018, 4, 751 individuals are estimated to be sleeping rough on any one night. This indicates an increase of 15 % from 2016- 2017. 600 homeless people have died in England and Wales last year according to official figures.  

In addition, over 300, 000 people are currently homeless in the UK according to Shelter. It is, therefore, no secret that austerity has taken over the UK and the current Conservative government does not seem to understand the importance of keeping the need of the people first. Housing Secretary, James Brokenshire who has also been the MP for Old Bexley and Sidcup since 2010, has recently stated that the government policies such as welfare cuts are not to blame for the rise in homelessness but rather the breakdown of families and drug use are. As much as there are many factors that contribute to being homeless, it is ignorant to state that the policies created under the current government have not contributed to the rise in homelessness, with figures even stating the number of people sleeping rough has more than doubled since 2010.  The Housing Secretary’s comment has angered many homeless people but also people who are not homeless. They understand that many who are homeless do not want to be and just need the right support system.

It has been reported that a homeless man died on the street after collapsing outside parliament this week. As it seems now, the Labour Party is the only party willing to set up a plan to overcome this crisis. To help the many who are neglected by the current government.

Hodge’s comparison of her disciplinary to the Holocaust does her case no favours

Being one of the most vocal Anti-Corbyn critics, you’d expect Dame Margaret Hodge to launch attack after attack against him. But her latest goes too far. In a comment to Sky News, the woman renowned for ‘fighting the BNP off in Barking’ has said that during her disciplinary proceedings for her despicable attack on Jeremy Corbyn within the House of Commons, she “felt the same fear her father would have felt when he was fleeing Nazi Germany”. Yes, you heard that right.

With it becoming clearer and clearer that the agenda against Corbyn is mostly a smear orchestrated by the right-wing media and, indeed, members of his own party, it’s perhaps surprising to see such an appalling comment being made by one of the key opposers. As Hodge et al’s crusade against Corbyn looks to gather pace, her latest outburst will only serve to damage her cause.

To compare a deserved disciplinary to one of the most brutal and disgusting acts of genocide is nothing short of disgraceful. In fact, as many have pointed out, its borderline Anti-Semitic in itself. If I was Jewish, I’d consider that to be nothing short of a mockery of a horrific and dark event. Naturally, as I am not Jewish, I don’t know exactly how the community feels, and I wouldn’t presume to do so. But Hodge should hang her head in shame.

Under-fire Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn himself hit back almost instantaneously, saying that Hodge’s comparison of Labour’s disciplinary proceedings to the Holocaust is “extreme and disconnected from reality”. And you know what, that isn’t even far enough. In the words of the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Hodge’s comments deserve “unequivocal condemnation”.

Of course, only Corbyn’s supporters will condemn it. It’s unlikely that the comments will even receive much publicity from the Mainstream Media because it only serves to weaken their Anti-Corbyn stance.

The other Labour rebels now face a tough choice, to back Hodge in her attack on Corbyn or call her comment out as being past the line. In what has become one of the biggest Labour Civil Wars since the Bevanites vs Gaitskellites, the question of who will come out on top is one that nobody can answer. Because there can be no doubt that with this setback for the right wingers will come to a brand new smear and Corbyn must be ready for it.

With Umunna calling the party “Institutionally racist” in a direct attack aimed not just at the leadership, but at the membership as well, and Hodge comparing what she has deemed as a “witch-hunt” by the leadership against her, the membership is becoming impatient. To quote Corbyn’s favourite poem ‘The Masque of Anarchy’, the members must “Rise, like lions after slumber, In unvanquishable number” to combat the smears. As the possibility of a Corbyn government grows ever closer, they will only become more extreme.

Action must be taken, and the party now surely have adequate reason to deselect Hodge. She was rightfully the subject of a disciplinary. To compare it to Nazi Germany is nothing short of utterly disgraceful. And as she repeatedly says, she won’t apologise for her actions. As an elected MP, higher standards are expected. And she doesn’t reach anywhere near the standards expected. I’m normally opposed to deselected those who I disagree with and I don’t subscribe to what Hodge deems as being the main cause of the issue ‘The Cult of Corbyn’ but Labour’s chances of being elected take a huge hit every time she and the other rebels open their mouths. Now is the time for them to lose their jobs because as I repeatedly say, we wouldn’t get away with the stuff these MP’s do in our jobs, so why should they?

Hoey could be first Labour troublemaker to be deselected

Kate Hoey could be the first Labour troublemaker to be de-selected after her CLP, Vauxhall, voted to ask for an early trigger ballot beginning the deselection process.

The MP who has been a government ally throughout the Brexit process, voting in favour of the EU withdraw bill, is extremely unpopular in her constituency which voted overwhelmingly for Remain.

The early trigger ballot would allow Vauxhall CLP to move towards deselection swiftly and should it be successful this would allow for an open selection. Vauxhall CLP have asked for an early trigger ballot so that Hoey can be deselected soon before the chance of a snap election.

A local Labour party activist, who preferred not to be named stated:

Generally both the left and right factions in the CLP tend to agree that Kate should be deselected and it’s likely most, if not all, the branches in the CLP would vote for an open selection.

However, unions and societies affiliated to the CLP also get a vote and their allegiance is less certain.

The local activist also mentioned she (Hoey) may stand down before the next election, though she has said similar things before and changed her mind, if she doesn’t he expects a different person to be the Labour candidate for Vauxhall come the next general election saying:

If she doesn’t retire, I think her time’s up. Though she’s very jammy so who knows.

Hoey could be the first Labour MP to face deselection which could spark a ripple effect within the party. Many members are unhappy with the position of their MPs on many issues and how they undermine the party leadership. Namely Chris Leslie, Frank Field and Chuka Umunna.

Hoey, however, is unique in that she supports Brexit in a very remain area, leading for both sides of the party to not be satisfied with her representation.

Momentum has campaigned, since their rise to prominence, for a full and open selection process combined with mandatory deselection. Basically the abolishing of trigger ballots and a move to a system similar to a US primary for constituencies. This would give members more democratic control and representation but those on the right of the party believe it is an attempt to get rid of MPs who do not agree with the leadership.

A desire for deselection of certain MPs has grown in popularity in 2018 after attempts by rebel MPs to undermine the party throughout the spring. Many members blame such MPs for Labour’s underwhelming council election results.

 

 

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Low turnout gives Labour trouble but they hold Lewisham East

Labour’s Janet Daby has won the Lewisham East By-election. Labour’s Janet Daby received 11,033 votes,(50.2%) the Lib Dem candidate Lucy Salek 5,404 (24.6%), and the Conservative candidate Ross Archer 3,161 (14.4%).

Daby pledged to oppose a Hard Brexit in a heavily remain constituency but Labour still saw their majority reduced from 21,123 to 5629 with the Liberal Dem vote rising by 20 points.  In her acceptance speech Daby said her victory meant “we will not tolerate an extreme Brexit in Lewisham East”.

However, the turnout was 33% less than half what it was in the General Election which will have hurt Labour’s vote and in an extremely safe Labour seat with very little at stake, the 17 point swing cannot be seen as anything but constituents voicing their dissent at Brexit.

The Liberal Democrats were keen to claim a moral victory with Vince Cable stating “the largest swing from Labour to the Liberal Democrats in over a decade” something he attributed to “the failure of Labour’s leadership to oppose the Conservatives’ hard Brexit”

The by election was triggered by resignation of former frontbencher Heidi Alexander, who was often a vocal Corbyn critic. However the new MP seems to be a Corbynista saying “I voted for Jeremy Corbyn twice in the leadership election and obviously within politics not everybody will agree on everything … but we need to find a way around it that holds the Tories to account.”

Social Media is shattering the establishment’s control of the ‘Overton Window’

The Overton Window was a term first used in the 1990s by Joseph Overton, a former Vice-President of the right-wing US Mackinac Center for Public Policy, whose founding principles stated that, “The free market is a powerful engine of economic prosperity. We look forward to the day when the myths and fears of free-market capitalism are dispelled.”

He argued that an idea’s political viability depends on whether it falls within the window. Ideas that fall outside the window are to be banished from public discourse since they are out of step with ‘public opinion’.

Notice I have used inverted commas around ‘public opinion’ and that is because that opinion is defined by those who have turned a window into a mirror. They have narcissistically placed their world view at the centre of acceptable thought. ‘Mirror mirror on the wall, whose ideas can I install? Mine of course.’

Chances are that you have never heard of Mr Overton or his window, but you can bet your bottom dollar that our corporate media have not only heard of this particular fenestra, but spend their lives staring through it and polishing the glass. They also stand guard over it and decide what is allowed into view.

And what is in view is all that is in step with the neo-liberal agenda for promoting policies based on austerity for the many and wealth for the few, racism and war. This last given the Orwellian term of ‘liberal interventionism’.

I’ve heard a BBC political commentator claim that the Overton Window keeps out extremes that are both wrong and unworkable. Read that as too left or right-wing but, wait, what about Nigel Farange frequent appearances on BBC Question Time. The window must always be allowed some latitude towards the Right.

There is nothing new about any of this. In the 1950s sociologists Lewis Coser and Ralf Dahrendorf criticised the dominant sociological theories which emphasized the consensual, conflict-free nature of societies. They talked about forces of power, interests, coercion, and conflict. By the time I was a sociology student in the 60s, even Dharendorf was conservative for us as we turned to Marx and the ‘Communist Manifesto’, published soon after the 1848 revolutions in Germany, Italy and France broke all the windows.

Speaking of which I have been reading about the current strikes in France – not much on the BBC or in The Guardian. Who cares? We now have a social media which has turned its back on allowable opinions. The window is now wide open and we can jump outside and change the view.